COVID News: Two-thirds of U.S. has had at least one vaccine dose

COVID-19 Live Updates, News and Information

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, October 31, 2021
Pfizer begins to ship 15 million vaccine doses for kids 5-11
Pfizer has begun shipping its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Two-thirds of the entire U.S. population has now had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the White House.

White House COVID-19 Data Director, Cyrus Shahpar, said on Twitter that more than 1.4 million doses were reported to have been administered Saturday.

Of that total, nearly 300,000 were given to people being vaccinated against COVID-19 for the first time.

Two-thirds of the entire U.S. population is a significant milestone considering previous totals typically referenced the percentage of those vaccinated among the part of the population that was eligible for the vaccine.

Here are more of today's COVID-19 headlines:

White House press secretary tests positive for COVID

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has tested positive for COVID. Psaki made the announcement via Twitter on Sunday, saying she decided not to travel "on the foreign trip with the president due to a family emergency," in which members of her household tested positive for COVID. She says she quarantined and tested negative for COVID Wednesday through Saturday, but tested positive for COVID on Sunday.

Shots more protective than past infection, study shows

Health officials on Friday offered more evidence that vaccinations offer better protection against COVID-19 than immunity from a prior infection. Unvaccinated people who had been infected months earlier were 5 times more likely to get COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people who didn't have a prior infection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in a new study. "These data show, pretty strongly, that the vaccines are more protective against symptomatic COVID," said Dr. Mike Saag, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who was not involved in the study. The study looked at data from nearly 190 hospitals in nine states. The researchers counted about 7,000 adult patients who were hospitalized this year with respiratory illnesses or symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.

Russia orders work holiday to stem coronavirus deaths

Russia on Friday recorded another record of daily coronavirus deaths as authorities hoped to stem contagion by keeping most people off work. The government's coronavirus task force reported 1,163 deaths in 24 hours, the largest daily number since the pandemic began. The latest deaths brought the total toll to 236,220, by far the highest in Europe. To contain the spread of infection, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered a nonworking period from Oct. 30 to Nov. 7, when most state organizations and private businesses are to suspend operations. He encouraged Russia's worst-hit regions to start sooner, and some ordered most residents off work earlier this week.

Concern, protests as NYC's 5 p.m. vax mandate deadline looms

A major vaccination deadline looms today for New York City workers across all agencies. They have until 5 p.m. to get their first dose of Covid vaccine or they will be taken off the payroll.

And there is mounting concern over possible staffing shortages within the city's police, fire and sanitation departments.

While more FDNY and NYPD members continue to get vaccinated ahead of the deadline, the city isn't seeing the numbers necessary to avoid shortages come Monday morning.

FDA expected to authorize COVID vaccine for kids ages 5-11 within hours

ABC News expects the FDA to authorize the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 on Friday, according to people familiar with the agency's planning.

But no vaccinations will start until the CDC director signs off. A hearing with the CDC's independent advisory board is set for Nov. 2.

Booster shots for employees at NJ hospital

Certain employees are now under orders to get a booster shot at University Hospital in Newark.

Workers who originally received the Johnson and Johnson shot must roll up their sleeves again by Dec. 24.

That's because it appears the J&J vaccine loses its effectiveness faster than the other formulas.

Most parents won't vaccinate their young children right away against COVID, survey finds

A COVID-19 vaccine could be available for little kids soon, and public health leaders say vaccinating them could help end the pandemic -- but only if parents actually get them vaccinated.

A new survey suggests that's uncertain at best. The majority of parents say they will not get their younger children vaccinated right away, according to the survey published Thursday from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Kids vaccines to be available in NYC within 24 hours of federal approval, mayor says

Covid vaccines for children will available at city-run sites within 24 hours of CDC authorization, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday. The shots will be available at pediatricians' offices, pharmacies and other vaccination sites across the city within 48 hours of the CDC's approval. A final ruling from the agency is expected sometime early next week, after a review by the FDA and a CDC advisory panel.

CDC 4th shot

The CDC is now signaling that some people may need a fourth vaccine shot. According to the CDC's website, people whose immune system is compromised and have already gotten a booster shot may need a fourth dose six months later. Medical conditions and treatments can make it harder for immunocompromised people to build immunity.

Excessive drinking during pandemic leading to spike in liver transplants

People have been drinking more during the pandemic, leading to a huge spike in the need for liver transplants. Researchers say those receiving transplants or on a waitlist due to alcoholic hepatitis went up 50% higher than what was predicted. Alcoholic hepatitis causes the liver to stop processing alcohol, which could lead to irreversible liver damage. It normally takes years of heavy drinking to prompt this condition, but it can also happen after a short period of excess.

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